Images by Wikimedia Commons and Getty Images
On October 31 2017, another terrorist attack occurred, this time in Manhattan, New York. Unlike the recent Las Vegas Shooting, we already know the motive of the killer Sayfullo Saipov. Saipov purposefully rammed his rented vehicle into a crowd of innocent bystanders, allegedly in the name of Islam. Despite the unfortunate loss of eight lives—including five Argentinian friends and three others—we must thank the fast-acting heroism of police officer Ryan Nash, who shot Saipov before he could injure and potentially murder others. Unfortunately, just like the Las Vegas Shooting, people are already using the Manhattan attack to justify their political biases.
It would be wonderful if people could put away their biases for more than two seconds to mourn those lost in these latest attacks. That’s naive thinking, to say the least. The same right-wing who were furious at being lumped in with psychopath Stephen Paddock were quick to jump onto the “All Muslims are terrorists” bandwagon. President Trump was fairly quick to announce he would be placing more stringent immigration laws into place, as Saipov was a New Jersey resident who immigrated to the United States from Uzbekistan back in 2010. Never mind that Uzbekistan wasn’t on Trump’s restriction list in the first place.
He’s not the only one. Popular right-wing commentators such as Paul Joseph Watson, Tomi Lahren, Alex Jones and Lauren Southern were quick to blame all Muslims for the acts of Sayfullo Saipov. In this game of political point-scoring, these types seem only too happy the latest terrorist attack has been committed by a Muslim man, so they can be quick to say “We’re not racist, but all non-white people should be banned from America…for our safety!”
They’re not the only attention seekers out to take the attention away from those we should rightfully be focusing on: the victims. People like Linda Sarsour are more concerned with the potential ramifications of “Islamophobia” than the loss of eight innocent lives. Sarsour seems to not care one bit about these victims, instead accusing anyone who disagrees with her of being bigots. No doubt there are bigots, but this is not the time to cry victim, Sarsour. As Maajid Nawaz eloquently said:
She’s not the only one. Twitter provocateurs such as Lauren Duca and Jessica Valenti are using their prominent platforms to fear-monger about Islamophobia and peddle identity politics.
Have we learned nothing from Las Vegas? The same people accusing all white people for the actions of lone wolf Stephen Paddock now think it’s unacceptable to blame all Muslims for the actions of a horrific few like Saipov.
Unlike Stephen Paddock, we basically know of Saipov’s motives. We must work from there, from a rational point of view, and after we have given the victims’ families time to mourn for their loss, and the survivors to deal with the traumatic processes that no doubt lie ahead. It is wrong for the Right to immediately jump on the “ALL MUSLIMS ARE EVIL” bandwagon, because that’s simply not true, and they’re behaving in the exact same way the Left did after the Las Vegas Shooting.
We must find out how Saipov became radicalized, and work out solutions so there is less of a chance of this happening again. Instead of looking for overtly radical and harmful solutions like the attention-seekers on the Right are calling for, we must de-radicalize the young men who are at risk of being indoctrinated into becoming potential terrorists. Unlike Stephen Paddock, we know of Saipov’s motives, so we can look into reducing the chance of yet another terrorist attack. It is possible. Despite ISIS’s fall in Raqqa, there is still much to do to stop people around the world indoctrinated by their methods.
This isn’t about you and your political point-scoring. This is about five friends from Argentina: Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi. This is about Belgian woman Ann-Laure Decadt. This is about the other as-yet unidentified people who have also sadly passed away. Think of those who witnessed the attack, such as the children on the school bus the killer also rammed into. Think of them as we work to prevent this from happening again.